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Tailor-made tours

Carretera Austral

Chile, Patagonia

5 days

Summary

Patagonia is one of our best-loved parts of South America. And yet, most travellers only visit a tiny portion of this vast landscape. Well, we are on a mission to change that! So, we invite you to discover the stunning Carretera Austral on your next South American adventure.

What’s so special about the Carretera Austral? Well, chances are you have heard of the Marble Caves! And this well-known highlight is definitely worth the detour! But this magnificent region also boasts dramatic glaciers, turquoise rivers and some of the continents newest National Parks. And what’s more, you’ll rarely have to share these wonders with other tourists! Because unlike Torres del Paine or El Calafate – the Carretera Austral is still under the radar for most travellers!

This short, sample itinerary is just a taste of what’s on offer in this beautiful area. And if you’ve got a little more time, there is so much more to see. Whether you’re keen to rent a car and take an unforgettable road trip. Or settle back and relax with a driver and guide. The Carretera Austral is our top tip for remote wilderness adventure. Talk to one of our Travel Specialists about designing a holiday just for you.

Highlights

  • Visit the Coyhaique arts and crafts market and enjoy typical food from the area. Find handmade products created with native wood, leather and wool.
  • Wonder at the untouched nature of this area in southern Chile
  • Hike through native forests, discover turquoise rivers and dramatic glaciers
  • Sail through the heart of Patagonia on crystal clear water and discover the Marble Caves.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Balmaceda/General Carrera Lake

Upon arrival, you will commence your travels through the beautiful scenery and local flora of the region. You will drive through deep canyons followed by a marsh that is scattered with tree trunks; reminisce of a volcanic eruption not that long ago. In the early afternoon you will arrive at the gigantic Lake General Carrera.

Day 2 General Carrera Lake/Puerto Guadal

This morning, begin the trip travelling the Carretera Austral bordering the stunning blue lake of General Carrera. Here you will take a short navigation across the lake until you reach the marble cave sanctuary. A picturesque spot where the constant movement of the lake and water has eroded the coloured rocks leaving behind secret caves, amazing underpasses and breathtaking formations. Afterwards, continue your trip until arriving at Puerto Guadal located on the Southern edge of this turquoise lake.

Day 3 Puerto Guadal/Chile Chico

Today you will have an early start. This morning you will travel along the General Carrera Lake reaching the impressive passage known as Paso de las Llaves famous for its height and views. As you travel along the path, you will be able to observe the drastic changes in vegetation from forest to pampas. Arrive at Chile Chico the capital of the General Carrera Province of the Aysén Region. The town is located only 6km west of the border with Argentina.

Day 4 Chile Chico/Coyhaique

Today you will board the ferry and navigate the lake General Carrera until you reach Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez. The water of this blue green lake is comprised of several distant glaciers that fill the lake and eventually pour out into the Pacific Ocean after running through the Baker River. From Puerto Ingeniero Ibáñez you will continue your journey via land until arriving at your final destination, Coyhaique.

Day 5 Coyhaique/Balmaceda

After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to the Balmaceda airport. As you travel south-east towards the airport today you will notice cooler weather and a change in scenery. This is the true entrance to the Pampa which can be viewed immediately after passing through airport customs.

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